November 17, 2010

Dogs We Meet On Our Hikes

Portuguese Water Dog. Don't You Just Love His Dirty Face!
As the name denotes, the Portuguese Water Dog developed in Portugal and is known there as Cao de Aqua (pronounced Kownd’ ahgwa), “dog of the water”.
~ Portuguese Water Dog Club of Canada
This Thursday, I am thankful for the many dog breeds I meet while out hiking. It's fun to get to know a breed I have not met before. Plus I enjoy any opportunity to fine tune my beginner photography skills.

Strolling along a path at the Rouge Park, in Scarborough, Ontario we were greeted by this large, friendly and off-leash dog trotting behind his owners. As we passed on the path, I raised my camera to take his picture. This big-eyed guy looked over his shoulder, stopped, turned around and posed.  As soon as he heard the camera "click" he happily set off after his owners again. It appears, being asked to stand while being photographed is a large part of his life! [Read More...]

Honestly, before President Obama got "Bo" his Portuguese Water Dog, I had never heard of this breed. I know, some days I live in a vacuum. During the last year, I have met quite a few PWD's in my neighbourhood. Perhaps Bo is responsible for me spotting more PWD's. I'm not complaining, I think they are terrific dogs; loyal and gentle enough to be wonderful therapy dogs, yet athletic and intelligent enough to excel in numerous dog sports. However, this got me thinking about how different breeds suit different owners. I have owned Labrador Retrievers, which at the time, were a perfect fit with my personality and a Doberman which was -  not so much!

Dogs breeds sought after because they are the "hot dog" breed of the month, can find their way into the wrong home; too much energy, too docile, too large, too hard to train, too hard to groom, too loud etc.

A mismatched dog to the owner is at risk of being given up to rescue, dropped off at kill shelters, abandoned in the street or advertised to be given to a good home for free.

Those free ads are the saddest, as the dogs are often homed with people only posing as pet owners. The dogs are often sought out for use in research labs, bait to help train dogs to fight, or if unspayed, may wind up in a puppy mill.

Another reason to research is breed health. If you haven't already read my thoughts on this, you can find it in my post titled "Backyard Breeders Beware".

In any event, if my foot would heal, I could turn back time to a younger age, I acquire a much larger home - I might be inclined to make a PWD my next dog!

Opps I almost forgot... we also met Jack, a 7 month, untrained digging Terror, I mean, Terrier.


katie, Maizey and Magnus said...

I love the look of the PWD's. There is a beautiful brown girl at our training center that LOVES Magnus. She is quite shy, but a couple minutes with Magnus and she turns into a happy, bouncy puppy.

It is so true that the "hot dog" syndrome doesn't always make for a match made in heaven, and it ends sadly for the pups. Very cool post!

houndstooth said...

I agree! Finding the right breed for you makes all the difference!

Chewy said...

I agree with the comments. I would love to meet a PWD.


Traci said...

Wonderful photo - his personality comes through!

Texas The Doxie said...

PWD's are super cute, and we had clients at our grooming/boarding/daycare facility who had two of the cutest little $6,000 dogs!!!


♥I am Holly♥ said...

We totally agree! Finding the right breed is a must or finding the right mixture in case it's a mixed dog! I would love to see a PWD too. I know a woman around here that has one and she loves him! Lots of love, Holly and mom

Remington said...

Super cute!

Kristine said...

Awww, that terrier is awesome! While I will probably always have a rescued mutt, I have to admit JRTs are kind of my dream dogs.

Thanks for this sweet and informative post!

Beyond the Dog Dish said...

My post is not limited to pedigree dogs or I didnt mean it to be. You have to also consider a mixed breed possible personality mix.

Shelties were my love while looking for a new dog - but I quickly realized Cavalier were more my speed ;)

Sue said...

Portuguese Water Dogs rock. We should know because there are eight of us Porties here plus our two mixed breed pack members. We have a great time playing together all day. PS, we almost always have dirty faces because we're so very busy investigating everything in the yard.
Morgan, Tsar, Samba, Fudge, Tess, Sky, Lola, Bailey, Noah and Norma Jean

Unknown said...

Oh I so agree - having a happy & successful relationship with your dog is so dependent on picking the right kind of dog for your personality and lifestyle. I just wish more people thought of that and did the research properly instead of just going on looks! (And anyway, half the time, a lot of breeds look totally different as pets compared to their show versions! If only people know what work went into showing the dog as it looks in the ring - especially the long-coated breeds!)

I definitely always knew that I wanted a very placid, laid-back, calm dog as I'm the total opposite (v neurotic & moody & volatile) and I think that way we compliment each other nicely! :-)


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Loving life with family and friends while exploring my passions; writing and photography. All with my two, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels in tow on day-trips along the Greater Toronto Area waterfront trails and local communities.

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